NFL determines Panthers followed concussion protocol with Cam Newton
The NFL has determined that the Carolina Panthers did not violate the league’s concussion protocol when Cam Newton missed only one play in his team’s playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints earlier this month.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the NFL said that Newton was properly evaluated for a concussion in the sideline medical tent after taking a big hit to the head in the fourth quarter. The Panthers said at the time that Newton had suffered an eye injury, and the league was able to corroborate that. It was also determined that Newton did not display “gross motor instability,” which would have required him to be sent to the locker room for further evaluation.
“This highlights the challenge that reporters and commentators have, needing to immediately draw conclusions without any of the facts,” NFL VP Joe Lockhart told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “This is a lesson for all — you jump to conclusions at your own peril.”
NFL chief medical officer Allen Sills added that the league has “nothing to hide” when discussing the concussion protocol and specific instances where players were evaluated.
“When we’re wrong, we’ll say we’re wrong. In this case, nothing was done wrong,” Sills said. “I’d want medical team to do what they did here.”
Teams not following concussion protocol has been a big issue all season. The Houston Texans also managed to avoid discipline despite quarterback Tom Savage returning to a game even after he was seen having spasms on the ground. The Seattle Seahawks recently became the first team to get slapped with a fine for violating the protocol, but that seemed to be more about Russell Wilson being allowed to completely blow off the evaluation.